What GPUs are supported by pfsense? Also some build advice.

  • The hardware support list simply links to the supported hardware list for freeBSD… which does not include any GPU support info!

    Will it work with the NM10 IGP of the intel atom? What about the AMD geode's integrated graphics? Does it work with the IGPs in sandy bridge? ivy bridge? what about AMD's integrated graphics on full sized desktop CPUs? What about their older southbridge based IGPs?

    Overall I am looking for (from most to least important): cheap to purchase & run (power consumption), quiet, small.

    I want to make a pfsense home router with 2 ethernet ports & maybe a wireless N antenna.
    One ethernet port to connect to a verizon fios ONT via ethernet, one to connect to an 8 port switch to which other devices connect.

    So far I have looked at the atoms, geodes, the intel bridges, AMD bobcat, and Athlon II.
    I will take other hardware too if needed.

    So far the best build I have is:
    -Case: http://www.amazon.com/Universal-Mini-ITX-enclosure-PicoPSU-compatible/dp/B003DXI288/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1339351026&sr=1-3&keywords=mini+itx
    -A pico PSU
    -Mobo: http://www.amazon.com/Jetway-NF9D-2700-Intel-Mini-ITX-Motherboard/dp/B007GGBK2I/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1339354523&sr=1-2&keywords=Intel+Atom+D2700+mini+pcie
    This mobo costs 30$ more then its younger brother and the only real difference is that it adds a PCIe mini port for the wifi
    -Suitable RAM (how much should I get?)
    -My old SSD which I have been meaning to sell
    -Intel half sized pcie mini wifi adapter (newest model with drivers for freeBSD). I find all non intel wifi to be extremely flaky, while intel wifi is rock solid. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centrino#Intel_Centrino

    Also an option is to buy a wireless N router, flash it with DDWRT or tomato or some such, and set it to work as a wifi access point only where pfSense would be used exclusively for wired router functionality. Does that sound like a better idea? I think it might actually be cheaper.

    The intel D2700 atom only has a windows 32bit IGP driver out at the moment so they warn "32bit operation only". Is this same limitation found in FreeBSD or is there a 64bit driver able to handle it for freeBSD? (kinda silly that intel made 64bit capability standard with ceder and then went and dropped the ball on driver support)

    PS. should I be concerned about support for ethernet controllers drivers?

  • You should be fine with almost anything. It just has to support VESA for the console (from memory), which pretty much everything does. Remember that you're not going to be driving a GUI with it, just a command line console.

    As for ethernet controllers, make sure they're on the FreeBSD support list. Do take the time to read the other posts here about network cards.

  • Netgate Administrator

    There is no support for 802.11N in pfSense so if you need it then use an external access point as you suggested. Atheros cards are generally considered to be the best supported wifi hardware.
    See JimP's spreadsheet, here.


  • Thank you both for the info. I didn't realize it had no local UI support.
    So I install it via command line over VESA and then I configure and use it via a WebUI that I access from another computer?

    If there is no N support built in I will use an access point.

  • Netgate Administrator

    Exactly. Though the console is still available for basic tasks (and for much more complex stuff!).


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